Investments Strengthen Critical Food Bank Supply Chain that Benefits County Residents in Need
View a video of food bank operations here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR7tFsuHpEE
Phoenix, Ariz. (Feb. 8, 2022) – Food banks across the county are receiving upgrades to their equipment and expanding service capacity thanks to an investment of $3 million approved by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. The funds are part of a larger investment by the County using federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to tackle issues related to the effects of the pandemic, including food insecurity in the community.
In addition to the $3 million in ARPA funding, Maricopa County also provided $3 million in CARES Act funds in 2020, injecting a total of $6 million to strengthen the operations of the regional food bank infrastructure.
"With more Maricopa County families unsure about where they'll get their next meal, board members felt it was absolutely essential to allocate some federal recovery funds to our local food banks," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, District 3. "If we could prevent a single family or child from going hungry, it would be worth it. But the fact is, with this funding, we are helping thousands upon thousands of people."
Food Insecurity Facts
- 2 million Arizonans and 1 in 4 Arizona children face food insecurity. Source: Mary’s Food Bank
- Children, seniors, and rural Arizonans are at greater risk of food insecurity. Source: Arizona Food Bank Network
- In 2020, 17.4% of the population in Maricopa County faced food insecurity. Source: United Food Bank
Maricopa County partnered with the Arizona Food Bank Network (AFBN) to develop a grantmaking system so that organizations that make up the network could identify their most critical needs to ensure they have the proper equipment, staffing, and supplies to serve the needs in the community. The funds better position the food bank organizations and the regional food distribution infrastructure by increasing food storage capacity, ensuring reliable refrigeration and freezer equipment to hold food at safe temperatures during storage, distribution, and delivery, as well as strengthening the ability to deliver the food to the County’s most vulnerable residents who may not have consistent access to reliable transportation.
“Food insecurity is a heartbreaking reality for many Arizonans, including children,” said Jacqueline Edwards, Director of Maricopa County Human Services. “Unfortunately, this was exacerbated by the pandemic. With the infusion of this funding into the County’s food bank infrastructure, Arizona Food Bank Network agencies are better equipped to receive, store, and deliver nutritious food to individuals and families in our community.”
To ensure that the ARPA funding is directed toward assisting the people hardest hit by the pandemic, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved spending priorities for more than $435 million in federal relief funds that can be tracked on a public dashboard.
The funding used to address food insecurity is one of several initiatives Maricopa County leaders have prioritized to support equitable recovery from the pandemic and address the specialty needs of the most vulnerable in the community.
Thus far, the grantmaking process has successfully awarded $623,709 of the $3 million to Arizona Food Bank Network member organizations who have provided 816,466 pounds of food to 12,367 households in Maricopa County. In addition to the grant recipients indicated below, the Arizona Food Bank Network is continuing with additional rounds of the grant process to fund critical needs for equipment, inventory, supplies and personnel.
St. Mary’s Food Bank
- Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church Outreach Program, $5,000 for food, transportation
- Civitan Foundation, $10,000 to expand cooling unite capacity for cold food storage
- Foothills Food Bank, $103,382 to support refrigerated storage and delivery
- Foundation for Senior Living, $10,000 to support home-delivered meals for seniors
- ICNA Relief USA Programs, $10,000 for food purchases
- Iglesia de Cristo Sion, $15,350 for additional food storage capacity and distribution needs
- Neighborhood Ministries, $50,000 for staffing needs related to operations
- No Dreams Lost Foundation, $12,035 for refrigeration and food distribution equipment
- Revive Foundation, $10,000 to support mobile hot meal service
- Saguaro Janes Corporation, $10,000 to purchase equipment to improve the client intake
- Salvation Army Northwest Valley, $10,000 for refrigerated food storage and costs
- Way of Life Church, $25,000 to support frozen food storage and preparation capacity
United Food Bank
- AZCEND, $10,000 to acquire additional storage capacity and strengthen operations
- Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundations, $10,000 for food purchases
- Casa de Amor, $9,950 to strengthen cold storage and food handling systems
- Christ the King HOPE Ministry, $10,950 for food storage
- Community Alliance Against Family Abuse, $2,984 for refrigeration, freezer
- Fountain of Life, $8,258 on equipment to facilitate food distribution operations, delivery
- Gateway Bible Church, $7,000 to support additional storage, supplies for food distribution
- Harvest Compassion Center, $30,000 to aid home delivery of meals
- Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank, $98,000 to increase storage capacity, support home delivery
- New Hope Community Center, $10,000 to support refrigeration, distribution
- New Hope Community Church, $10,000 to add frozen food storage capacity
- Open Arms Care Center, $7,000 for facility security improvements
- Paz de Cristo Community Center, $60,000 for food delivery vehicle
- Resurrection Street Ministry, $10,000 to support food delivery operations
- Salvation Army of Apache Junction, $10,000 for food distribution efficiency, staffing
- Seniors Personal Assistance Corporation, $10,000 to support food bank operations
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul, $6,500 to add frozen food storage capacity
- Bridget Conference, $4,000 for refrigerated and frozen food storage
- Vested Interest Community Services, $38,300 for delivery vehicle, staffing
To learn more about available assistance to Maricopa County residents, visit www.Maricopa.gov/Rescue. To learn more about how Maricopa County is applying federal funding to help residents recover from the effects of the pandemic, visit https://www.maricopa.gov/5733/COVID-19-American-Rescue-Plan-Act-Funds.
About Maricopa County Human Services
As the fourth largest county in the nation home to some of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, Maricopa County’s population is large, growing and more diverse than ever. Maricopa County’s Human Services Department has five divisions that provide services and programs to people of all ages and abilities to promote their well-being. From offering early education to career training and employment services to case management for aging and disabled adults – the Human Services Department serves as a leader in the region to support strong families, neighborhoods, and community relationships. Learn more about the financial, educational, and support resources available to eligible Maricopa County residents at www.HSD.maricopa.gov.